The Danube Delta had long been on my travel list, I had many attempts in the past 5 years and I could finally visit this awesome place. The Danube Delta it seems literally like from another world, this is how beautiful it is. Of course it will amaze you on another level, because it is officially a unique place in the world, that means if you want to see something like this you have to visit the Danube Delta only.
Many people don’t even know about this Heaven, you either have to be Romanian to know about it or you have to be that inquisitive person who likes to read and watch documentaries, because only that way you find out about this. But somehow is weird that people don’t know about it, because the Danube Delta is the second longest river in Europe, crossing 10 countries.
The little publicity about the place means there isn´t an abundance of information out there. So in this blog post I will try to provide as much information possible for the ones who are inquisitive and want to have a taste of something unique and different. But the ones who know me a little bit, also know I care about animals and the environment so I will cover that topic too.
There is a never ending list of things to do in the Danube Delta, but hopefully, this will inspire you to add it to your Romania itinerary for your next trip!
Why is so unique and important?
The Danube Delta is so special due to its richness in plant species, trees, many species of fish, birds and mammals. It is also the last virgin natural place in Europe. It happens to be the most important reservation by official UNESCO standards which it makes part of and also declared Biosphere Reserve, being the home of over 5.000 rare living creatures. So the place has a huge importance for the enviroment.
Best time to visit
The Danube Delta is fascinating in the spring months, there are no fisherman because of the prohibition, the wild vegetation is in full blooming, many birds have ¨babies¨, you can also see the first flowers of water lilies, lotus trees and iris are on the water and it is less tourists around. But I don’t think there is a wrong season to visit the Delta. So.. nature lovers, photo enthusiasts or travellers looking for adventure, this is a true paradise for anyone here.
BOAT RIDES THROUGH THE CANALS
The Delta has three channels: Chilia, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe. The Chilia branch is the youngest and most vigorous and a lot of it lies within Ukraine. The Sulina branch is the central branch and the Sfântu Gheorghe branch is the southern branch and the most sparsely populated.
Of course one of the best activities to do, is to take a boat and roam the canals. I loved everything about it, it was just perfect. I did tons of photos of the wildlife, it was romantic and adventure, all at once.
explore the canals
We did every day an excursion and only one was with group, the other ones were private, which for us was the best decision. And then we just had a taste of the Delta. The captains we had were very professional and friendly, they knew so much about the wildlife and they also are the type of people who cares about the environment. Thing that I liked a lot. But sadly not all the people are like that.
I can’t even express how much I loved navigating the narrow canals. We were super lucky to spot ¨baby¨ swans, many other birds, we even had the rare opportunity to see the sunset. It seems that is is hard to catch a sunset in the Delta, but if you do, it is Heavenly. One of the best I´ve seen in my life. This place will for sure be on my list with best places in the world to watch sunset.
Each boar ride we had, we did a different route and I must say that there is no wrong choice. My only regret is the lack of time. It was super cool navigating through reed islands, passing by pretty water lilies where frogs sunbath, spotting many birds species, water snakes, we even seen horses in some places.
A beautiful place to visit is Mila 23 and it was also one of my favourite and it is only accessible by boat. The village is colourful, relaxing, a lovely place to have a coffee, a romantic dinner and is also a good place to buy groceries. We were greeted by a cute dog upon arrival and he followed us around the village. We watched a beautiful, this time a little bit clouded, sunset from here.
When I arrived at the hotel and I’ve seen the stunning canal right in front of our terrace, I just wanted to take a ride. Luckily our hotel had kayak rental, but they’re been super nice and gave it us for free. We navigated around 2 hours and we spotted water snakes, frogs, many fish, water Lilly. It was just wow! So peaceful and quiet, birds singing, the warm sun. Just perfection!
I also liked the freedom of the kayak, because when renting a kayak there are not really prescribed routes that you can take. You can basically go wherever you want.
ENJOY THE DANUBE DELTA FAUNA AND FLORA
Of course, the main reason of my visit here was to get closer to wildlife. The Danube Delta is the perfect destination for nature and bird lovers, it’s literally a bird-watchers paradise. The Danube Delta is home to more than 300 species of migratory and resident birds, including eagles and egrets, also home to the largest colony of pelicans in Europe.
Is not only birds you can see, but also a diverse array of aquatic life and interesting, unexpected land animals, such as wild horses, tortoises and even water snakes. Is not surprising all the life happening here, if you consider the isolation and fertile nature of the region.
In order to spot as many birds as possible, you will need to take a boat and navigate through the canals, but I highly recommend taking additional trips too, like kayak. It’s such a great feeling relax and admire the amazing nature and all the birds, water lilies and canals.
VISIT PÃDUREA LETEA
Another natural gem in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is Letea Forest. This forest is absolutely amazing and is a must do when you are in the Danube Delta. This is Europe’s northern most subtropical forest, thousands of years ago, the now forest used to be the Sea, which is one of the reasons why the forest is covered in sand, so at the end of the forest you can walk on sand dunes.
The forest is not only very beautiful but it is home to a large number of rare orchids, secular oak trees, eagles, red footed falcons, over 1600 species of insects and the famous wild horses.
How to get to Letea forest
I suggest you to book a tour to get to the Letea Forest because the forest is highly protected and the access is prohibited without a guide or attendant. The get to the village it is possible only by boat transportation and then is needed a car until the forest. The ride will make you think you are in safari in Africa. It´s super cool!
WATCH UNIQUE SUNSETS
If you are a sunset collector, then the Danube Delta must be on your list. Here, if you are lucky, you can experience some of the most beautiful sunsets on Earth. This place must be added to the list of best sunset spots in the world. When I saw photos on the internet, I thought they are photoshopped, until I got to experience myself. And I must say.. it is WOW! Breathtaking!
The place is quite amazing, you can hear the birds singing, the quiet rustling of the leaves, you can feel the warm breeze on your face. And the smell of the scents of the woods. The only thing you do is to let the worries go and embrace the moment you are living in THAT moment.. you feel you are ALIVE!
Tulcea, the gateway to the Danube Delta
In order to get to the Danube Delta you have to take a car from Bucharest (most of travellers land there). It will take about 4-5 hours to Tulcea by car and then you need to travel by boat to your final destination in a village in the Delta.
For some reason many people think it is hard to get to the Danube Delta, but I don’t think is that difficult. I personally find it quite easy. You drive from Bucharest, then you take the boat to your hotel and that was it. This situation made me think about Tortuguero, to arrive in Tortuguero is quite similar and also many travellers don’t go there because they think is hard to go. A drive and 1 hour boat ride and there you are.
In the Delta there are no cars and the main transport is the boat. You can arrange boat rides, tours, going from Tulcea or to Tulcea, with your hotel. Tulcea is the gateway to the Danube Delta and the tourists use it as a starting point for the adventure in the Danube Delta.
Is it worth it to visit the Danube Delta?
Totally! The Danube Delta is one of the most beautiful, unique and magnificent place I’ve ever visited. I will come back for sure, cause I’m already missing this place. A journey in the wilderness of the Danube Delta is a must for every nature lover. I enjoyed a lot our stay, taking photos of the splendid birds, the glorious boat trips, the incredible lakes teeming with birdlife and fish. The locals are very helpful and happy to chat with you, also great cookers and we enjoyed spending time with them and listening to their stories.
Does this blog make you want to book a trip to the Danube Delta? I hope so and any questions you have about this place, don’t hesitate to ask.